Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.
Your employer is not a police entity, so they can't "hold" you for questioning or anything else. If you don't want to stay to answer questions or sign documents, you don't have to.
Now, if they want you to stay and sign documents and you refuse, there can be consequences. The employer can decide that if you won't cooperate with them, they'll just report the matter to the police and have them handle it. However, cooperating with the employer is no guarantee that they won't do that anyway, and then your cooperation could be used against you as evidence.
These situations are difficult because you are dealing with two competing issues: 1. Keeping the employer happy so they don't report the matter. 2. Not creating evidence that can be used against you, if the matter is reported. They can't really be reconciled either. No matter what you do, there is risk in one direction or the other.
This is why criminal defense attorneys state that the better risk is to remain silent and not create evidence that can be used against you. It's the only thing that comes with a guarantee...it guarantees that your own statements can't be used against you, because you didn't make it. The other route holds lots of promise (make the employer happy and it all goes away), but no guarantee. While turning in the property and agreeing to sign documents for the employer might make them happy, it does NOT mean that they can't turn around and submit the returned item and your statements as evidence for the police to use against you.
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